“Behold you are fair my love! Behold, you are fair!” [Song of Solomon 4:1]
Recently we were watching the story of Henry VIII and saw the blatant selfishness and power struggle created by immoral relationships. Throughout it, people were treated wickedly and the fruit birthed a whole new denomination and dynasty of Church.
However, long before King Henry, the church had its own people problems and Corinth was no different. Paul modeled and mirrored how to respond to our fellow Christians who struggle with relationships.
First, Paul always appreciated others. “I always thank God for you…” Every one who comes into our life is of great value to God. We are called to honor and respect those in the family of God.
Second, Paul always encouraged others. “For in him you have been enriched in every way…” [v 5]. Recognizing and encouraging the unique giftedness of other believers creates an environment of freedom necessary for spiritual growth and development.
Third, Paul always affirmed them. “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift…” [v 7]. Speaking positive words of affirmation will reflect how our heavenly Father sees each one and how greatly they are blessed to be a blessing.
Fourth, Paul always assured them. “He will keep you strong to the end…our Lord is faithful” [v 9]. Regardless of weakness, regardless of mistakes, and even during time of trouble and strife Paul saw a teachable moment. He understood the one that carries His name is always appreciated, always encouraged, always affirmed and always assured.